News: Division shows skills during talent show
Story by Cpl. Charles Clark
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - More than 120 guests attended Lejeune's Got Talent, a spoof talent show and luncheon, at the Tinian Room inside the Marston Pavilion February 14, 2013.
The show, a spoof of the television show “America’s got Talent,” entertained its guests and set a precedent for future Officer and Spouses Club members events.
“We have a lot of talent in the division,” Jennifer E. Trimble, Officer and Spouses Club division representative. “That was the driving force behind why I wanted us to do this. I knew we could pull it off.”
The event started with a meet and greet hour. The guests were welcomed by the soft stylings of a violinist and a cellist in the Marston Pavilion's main lobby.
As the attendance swelled, the laughs and smiles grew more frequent as friends new and old talked and caught up with each other.
After the meet and greet, the doors of the Tinian Room were opened and the guests flocked to view more than 50 pieces of art from Bitz Elementary School, Heroes Elementary School, Brewster Middle School and Lejeune High School students, while the Division Jazz Band's music filled the room.
“We have more than just one form of talent for this event,” Trimble said.
Col. Beau Higgins, the commanding officer of headquarters battalion, 2nd Marine Division and Lejeune’s Got Talent master of ceremonies, introduced the crowd to the special "celebrity" judges as the guests found their seats.
The judges were Col. Kenneth M DeTreux, 8th Marine Regiment commanding officer, who was dressed as Howie Mandel, Sue Journey, dressed as Sharon Osborne, and Col. Bradley R. Hall, 10th Marine Regiment commanding officer dressed as Howard Stern.
“It really all came together because of the fun personalities our judge’s brought to the evening,” Trimble said.
Higgins then introduced the first contestant, Amy Zappa, who sang an acapella song. The audience and judges applauded wildly as the last few notes faded. The judges praised her performance and sent her to the next round.
“We found out that Zappa sang back-up with Michael Bolton so we knew she was very talented,” Trimble said.
Higgins introduced the second contestant, Emily Pagragan, who showcased a complicated Irish step dance whilst holding a mug of soda. Pagragan jumped and danced with the mug not spilling a drop.
The judges seemed astounded as she came to a stop with a smile on her face and the crowd going crazy.
Accolades were said as the judges gave their verdict. Pagragan went to the next round.
“Pagragan wanted to show her dancing skills, which we knew would blow everyone away,” said Trimble.
Higgins grabbed the microphone and told the guests there would be an hour luncheon before the next two contestants showed their talents.
During the lunch break, the division jazz band jammed as the conversations of the performances thus far spurred amongst the guests.
After the luncheon, Higgins walked back to center stage dressed as Elvis Presley and welcomed the third contestant, Zach Stephenson.
“My husband was deployed with Stephenson and I guess saw some talent in him while in the field,” Trimble said. “When Stephenson said he wanted to play a song he made for his wife we knew it would be perfect for the show.”
Stephenson sang and played guitar to an original country song he wrote for his wife as a Valentine’s Day present.
"Celebrity" judge, Sharon Osborne, commented how the song moved her as the other women swooned in agreement.
“You captured my heart and my vote,” Osborne said. It was no surprise when the judges voted for Stephenson to continue on to the next round.
Higgins introduced the final contestants, the GEO Dancers.
The GEO Dancers are a dancing group made of seven officers’ wives.
They danced a choreographed step to two songs, NSYNC's "Backstreet's Back" and PSY’s "Gangam Style” while wearing matching red, shiny vest costumes.
“The dancers really took it to another level when they got their costumes,” Trimble said. “The dancers started working together last October and from there it snowballed into the amazing dancing we saw today.”
The audience and judges applauded, whistled in awe and laughed at the astounding stepping.
The judges laughed and said how much they loved the performance.
“This was truly a difficult and challenging achievement you’ve all performed flawlessly,” said “celebrity” judge, Howard Stern. “You definitely have my vote for being just outstanding.”
The GEO Dancers were unanimously sent to the next round.
Higgins brought the four acts back out and told the audience it was up to them to decide who won the talent show.
The "celebrity" judges chimed up and revealed that all the performers won.
Trimble handed out bags of prizes for all the contestants and the judges for participating in the show.
“The real winners here are the guests,” Trimble said. “With such an amazing bunch of performers and judges, I think we all had a blast with the entertainment.”